New recruits with the Arklow RNLI Marc Palmer, Ken O’Toole, Cillian Kavanagh and Josh McAnespie are looking forward to their first Christmas on call since becoming full crew members.
As the charity launches its Christmas appeal asking for the public’s help to continue its lifesaving work at sea, our new recruits will be among the wider station teams both at Wicklow and Arklow RNLI who will be prepared to drop their own Christmas festivities this year if the pager sounds.
Each of our dedicated new recruits who fell in love with everything RNLI and lifeboat related since they started training at the station 2 years ago, for them being on duty is something they will relish and should that call come at Christmas, they like hundreds of other volunteers around Ireland, who sign up to save every one from drowning, will reap the reward of being able to give back, having helped someone in need.
This Christmas many lifeboat men and women and our colleagues in the other emergency services will leave their loved ones behind to answer the call, each time hoping to reunite another family, and see those in trouble at sea safely returned.
During the festive period from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day over the last five years from 2017-2021, RNLI lifeboats in the Irish region launched 55 times and brought 43 people to safety.
Last year alone, lifeboats across the island launched 1,078 times, with volunteer crews bringing 1,485 people to safety, 21 of whom were lives saved.
But these rescues would not be possible without donations from the RNLI’s generous supporters, helping to fund the essential kit, training and equipment needed by lifeboat crews all year round.
John Bermingham, Arklow’s New Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘Even at Christmas, our lifesavers are ready to drop everything at a moment’s notice and rush to the aid of someone in trouble on the water. At this time of year, the weather is at its worst and lives are on the line.
‘We know that every time our crews go out they hope for a good outcome, but sadly this sometimes isn’t the case.
‘There’s no feeling quite like bringing someone home safe to their families – especially at Christmas. As lifeboat crew we couldn’t rescue people without kind donations from the
public which fund the kit, training and equipment we need to save others and get home safely to our families.’
To make a donation to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal visit: RNLI.org/Xmas